Shane Lester first turned the heads of automotive sports enthusiasts back in 2016, at which point he was honored as one of the cast members of the highly lucrative, entertaining and popular spin-off from Discovery’s legendary TV series “Street Outlaws: New Orleans”. Little did everyone know that his appearance there wouldn’t even be the greatest feat under his belt, as Shane was a proper protagonist on his own, away from the spotlight.
In spite of being nearly unstoppable on the track, and easily making a name for himself in the drag race community, it wasn’t his speed record-breaking accolades that would ring out throughout media outlets later on. Lester is actually best known for taking proper care of his health, which isn’t really a common virtue among his colleagues. In fact, the reality TV star was so proficient at looking after himself that he ended up losing over 100lbs (45kgs) in less than a year.
Who really is Shane Lester?
Shane Lester was born probably at some point during the 1970s, and raised in the vicinity of Gulfport, Mississippi USA. His fascination with cars and speed was evident from very early on, and this passion eventually became the driving force behind all of his endeavors that echo throughout the media outlets today.
Unfortunately for the young boy, this affinity wasn’t shared by his father, who believed that his heir would fare much better pursuing a ‘proper’ career. So, while his parents would ultimately prove to be supportive, it wasn’t smooth sailing from the get-go, and he had to prove that there was promise for the Lesters somewhere along the gravel skid marks of drag tracks.
Shane worked odd jobs throughout elementary and high school, earning a dime here and there until he had just enough to afford himself a not-so-enviable hot rod in disrepair, namely a 1988 Mustang. He had fortunately learned plenty about car modification and optimization by the time of his first purchase, and set out to restore and upgrade the vehicle.
Once the project was complete, Shane had himself a reliable machine that was able to open many an afficionado’s wallet, eventually selling the car for much more than he had originally spent on it. He continued this cycle in the formative years of his career, using the profits to buy and refurbish many more cars one by one.
This early venture not only allowed Lester to earn his livelihood and set out independently, but also served as the groundwork of a professional all-around drag racer who should always know the exact bolt that needs tightening for just that much more performance, however much is enough to blow his opponents away in the face-offs.
Shane’s initial successes let everyone know that he was in the game for the long haul, eventually leading him to stand out among car enthusiasts as one of the most knowledgeable mechanics around, marking the beginning of his journey across the highly competitive and unforgiving drag race scene.
Regardless of being first or second on the track, however, Lester continued doing what he started as a teenager, as the two passions ended up being almost unrelated, with the reality TV star actively pursuing both. Over the years since his venture into the industry, Shane bought, restored, and sold somewhere around 70 cars, most of which could easily find themselves shoulder to shoulder with some of the most competitive builds.
Both business and pleasure
Lester’s ceaseless effort eventually led him to fame and fortune, with automotive fans across the globe noticing that there was a new name in town. With many curious to know how exactly his career progressed after the initial years, news outlets spoke to the racer one-on-one.
Shane was interviewed by Hugh Keaton for wlox.com on 20 June 2023, thereby revealing the kinds of endeavors he had been getting involved in, as well as naming the individual without whom such success would most likely be impossible.
The starting point of the interview was an upcoming festival of great significance to people like Shane – Scrapin’ the Coast. Far from being the only one of its kind, this event is only a variation of what is considered customary around the parts that Shane hails from.
First and foremost, Cruisin’ the Coast celebrates classic cars and nostalgic music in the form of a week-long festival that takes place annually along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The event is a paradise for car enthusiasts, featuring thousands of classic cars, hot rods, and trucks from all over the country. It’s a place where Shane could not only showcase his own hot rod, but also draw inspiration from the diverse range of vehicles on proud display.
Jeepin’ the Coast is a celebration of Jeep culture, throughout which Jeep owners and enthusiasts gather to cruise the scenic Mississippi Gulf Coast. The event typically takes place over several days, and includes various activities such as parties, competitions, and off-road adventures. For someone like Shane, who has a burning passion for automobiles and customization, this event would offer an opportunity to explore the world of Jeeps, and potentially broaden his horizons when it comes to vehicle upgrades.
Scrapin’ the Coast, on the other hand, is a wild car, truck, and bike show held in Biloxi, Mississippi. It’s a massive outdoor event with an indoor section within the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.
The event showcases a wide range of customized vehicles, from lowriders to lifted trucks, and even motorcycles. It’s a celebration of the art of vehicle customization, exactly what Lester has been all about most of his life. It also includes competitions, making it a platform where Shane could potentially showcase his skills and creations.
One of the vehicles that Shane was particularly proud of was his 1984 GMC C10, a hot rod that he was eager to display at the upcoming Scrapin’ the Coast event. The joy he derived from his creations was evident in the remarks he made during the interview, such as ‘I sit back and smile, I love it.’
Shane’s admiration of powerful machines isn’t a solitary interest either, as his wife Natalie shares all of the enthusiasm, having been an active participant in their automotive adventures for over three decades. Natalie has her own prized possession, a 1939 Ford Roadster, which she discovered in a parking lot and chased down on foot with Shane to purchase. Shane built this car specifically for his better half, aiming to match its beauty to hers.
Just like the couple, Scrapin’ the Coast had also evolved over its extensive history. What started as a gathering for low-riding vehicles, or ‘scrapers’, had grown into a celebration of all types of show cars. The event now saw a mix of big trucks and low-riders, offering something for every car enthusiast.
For Shane and Natalie, these events were more than just a meet-and-show – instead a way to live out their passion and immortalize their tradition of ‘hot roddin’. As Shane put it, ‘Building these cars, driving these cars and showing these cars is part of the Coast life.’ Natalie echoed his sentiments, expressing the unique joy of cruising down the beach line in a custom hot rod.
— Street Outlaws: NOLA (@StreetOutlawsNO) February 26, 2016
Living the dream
What most fans remained unaware of even after Shane’s debut in “Street Outlaws: New Orleans”, is the fact that he took his interest to the next level 23 years before being featured on the TV screen. Lester and his wife are proud owners of the Precision Paint and Body shop in Long Beach, Mississippi, which has been servicing all kinds of vehicles since 1993.
The shop is a certified Gold I-CAR automotive paint and body shop, which is a prestigious recognition that speaks volumes about the quality of their work. Attaining the Gold Class designation necessitates that shops attain and sustain a superior level of training pertinent to each of the primary roles in collision repair.
This is gauged when all role representatives ascend to ProLevel 2, achievable through I-CAR training or sanctioned industry educators. The certification stands as a testament to the shop’s steadfast dedication to embodying the pinnacle of training excellence in the field of collision repair.
The shop’s crew offers free estimates for any insurance or customer pay job, bolstering trust through transparency from the get-go. As the shop is a family-owned and operated business, this familial spirit is evident in the way they treat every job with the utmost care and attention. No job is too small for them, and they ensure that each project is handled by a dedicated team of employees, rather than being rushed through an assembly line.
The business offers an extensive and diverse range of services, as they are equipped to handle all-over and custom paint and repair jobs, offering a seven-year warranty on paint after the project leaves their doors.
They work on any make or model of car, as well as motorcycles. Their philosophy is one of quality over quantity, ensuring that every project is handled at the highest standards. They have also recently added ceramic coating and polishing services to their repertoire, while further expansions are also expected.
Shane’s business reputation extends beyond Long Beach, as it’s one of the topmost sought-after paint and body shops by local dealerships across the coast. This prestige is not just built on their technical expertise, but also commitment to customer service. They treat every vehicle as if it were their own, and this dedication to professionalism is reflected in the glowing reviews they’ve received from their customers.
How did he lose all that weight?
Lester shocked the world on 10 November 2022 in his thus-far most popular Instagram post, which was a simple yet striking before-and-after picture, showing an immense difference in his physical appearance that materialized over the course of just a year. The secret to his newfound success was also revealed in the post’s description, which Shane used to tell the fans that it’s always beneficial to invest in one’s physical well-being.
Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as vertical gastric sleeve surgery, is a transformative weight-loss operation that has been pivotal in enabling numerous individuals, such as Shane, to achieve substantial weight reduction in a relatively short period. This isn’t merely a physical modification of the body, but a powerful instrument that, when coupled with lifestyle modifications, can yield remarkable outcomes.
The operation entails the surgical excision of approximately 80% of the stomach, resulting in a tubular organ roughly the size of a banana. This decrease in size limits the quantity of food a person can ingest, leading to a reduction in caloric intake. Additionally, it triggers hormonal shifts that aid in weight loss, and can help mitigate conditions associated with obesity, such as hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
The procedure is typically performed using laparoscopic techniques, which involve the insertion of specialized tools through several small incisions in the upper abdomen. The larger, curved portion of the stomach is stapled and excised, leaving behind a slender sleeve. The operation usually lasts between one and two hours, and patients can typically return home the following day.
Following the operation, the patient’s dietary regimen commences with sugar-free, non-carbonated liquids for the initial week, then transitions to pureed foods for the subsequent three weeks, and finally to regular foods approximately a month post-surgery.
An often-underestimated aspect of cases like Shane’s is the level of care required to live with this modification. Post-operative patients need to adhere to a regimen of taking a multivitamin twice daily, a calcium supplement once during their sleep cycle, and a monthly vitamin B-12 injection for the rest of their lives.
The degree of weight loss is contingent upon the individual’s lifestyle changes, though it’s generally feasible to shed approximately 60%, or even more, of excess weight within a two-year timeframe. In Shane’s instance, he managed to drop 100lbs (45kg) within a year, which is evidence of his commitment to the necessary lifestyle alterations for such a transformation.
It’s also worth noting the courage required to undergo such a procedure, given the serious potential side-effects associated with it. Immediate risks include infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots, adverse reactions to anesthesia, as well as respiratory complications.
Longer-term issues can include gastroesophageal reflux, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), gastrointestinal obstruction, hernias, malnutrition, and vomiting. Unwanted effects of sleeve gastrectomy have also been fatal on very rare occasions.
Going the extra mile
Having a very successful business, a dedicated soulmate, and even an impressive record among the world’s greatest drag racers, it stands to reason that Shane achieved exactly what he dreamed of as a child. This leads to the question of why he would potentially risk his life for a change inconsequential to his lifelong pursuits.
The answer is simpler than most fans would assume, which is that Lester prides himself on professionalism and excellence. This system of values is also reflected in his personal life, as the image of a physically healthy husband and business owner exudes the confidence required to take his marriage and career to even greater heights.